Wednesday Morning Reads: Gala, Jobs, Plastic and an American Priest

Good Morning

You can also add a sunspot to that title, because today I am going to share a variety of links with you.

News out of DC? Well…I don’t quite know what to make of this: Obama unveils jobs plan on a virtual ‘post-it’ note, urging Congress to act

A post-it note? As if that is going to get the job done in Congress…

President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Tuesday to act on a modest five-item “to-do list” to fight unemployment, showcasing the tasks on a virtual Post-It note he mockingly said would not “overload” lawmakers.

“I know this is an election year,” Obama said in a speech at the SUNY-Albany Nano-Tech Complex, a science research facility. “But it’s not an excuse for inaction. Six months is plenty of time for Democrats and Republicans to get together and do the right thing.”

Obama’s list included items he’s already unsuccessfully pushed Congress to adopt, such as cutting tax incentives for businesses that ship jobs overseas, enacting new hire tax credits, promoting clean energy and helping homeowners struggling with their mortgages to refinance.

“It’s about the size of a Post-It note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it and they can glance at it every so often,” said the president, who referred to the virtual memo as “a handy little ‘to-do’ list.”

How cute…

With his reelection hopes weighed down by the weak economy, Obama also seemed to lay the blame on Congress if job growth remains sluggish from now to November. New figures showed lackluster employment figures in April and a national jobless rate that ticked down to 8.1 percent mostly because of unemployed Americans giving up on looking for work.

“The truth is, the only way we can accelerate the job creation that takes place on a scale that is needed is bold action from Congress,” he said. “Just saying no to ideas that we know will help our economy isn’t an option. There’s too much at stake. We’ve all got to pull in the same direction,” Obama said.

You know, when I think of all the suggestions from economist like Dr. Dakinikat have shouted out to anyone who would listen…why, won’t they (both Dems and Repubs) do something that will be beneficial to the economy?

This next link is on the topic of health, specifically cancer. ‘One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection’

One in six cancers – two million a year globally – are caused by largely treatable or preventable infections, new estimates suggest.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases review, which looked at incidence rates for 27 cancers in 184 countries, found four main infections are responsible.

These four – human papillomaviruses, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B and C viruses – account for 1.9m cases of cervical, gut and liver cancers.

Most cases are in the developing world.

The team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France says more efforts are needed to tackle these avoidable cases and recognise cancer as a communicable disease.

The proportion of cancers related to infection is about three times higher in parts of the developing world, such as east Asia, than in developed countries like the UK – 22.9% versus 7.4%, respectively.

Nearly a third of cases occur in people younger than 50 years.

Among women, cancer of the cervix accounted for about half of the infection-related cancers. In men, more than 80% were liver and gastric cancers.

Remember the HPV vaccine?

Drs Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer, who led the research, said: “Infections with certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are some of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide
“Application of existing public-health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice, or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on the future burden of cancer worldwide.”
Vaccines are available to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) – which is linked to cancer of the cervix – and hepatitis B virus – an established cause of liver cancer.
And experts know that stomach cancer can be avoided by clearing the bacterial infection H. pylori from the gut using a course of antibiotics.

I wonder if other cancers can be triggered from infection. I seems a lot of new information on cancer treatment is coming out of Europe these days. Which is a good thing since science is being trampled here in the US by religious conservative politicians.

Moving on to something troubling in the Pacific Ocean…Scientists find hundredfold increase in plastic trash in Pacific Ocean since 1970s

The amount of plastic in the ocean area known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has increased a hundredfold since the early 1970s, according to a new study, and the alarming findings could pressure California and other coastal states to do more to reduce plastic trash.

“We were really surprised. It is a very large increase,” said Miriam Goldstein, a Ph.D. graduate student in biological oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and lead author of the study.

“Plastic had been detected in the open ocean in the early 1970s,” she said. “People were raising the alarm then. The fact it has gotten so much worse is really disappointing.”

During an expedition in 2009, Scripps researchers took extensive water samples 1,000 miles west of California, then compared the amount of plastic they found with samples taken by other researchers dating back to 1972.

While many of the samples 40 years ago found little or no plastic, vast stretches of the North Pacific are now polluted with billions of tiny pieces of confetti-like trash that comes from garbage that floats out to sea and breaks down in wind and waves.

The tiny bits sit on or near the surface, where they are eaten by fish, sea turtles and other marine animals that confuse them for food. The latest samples show that the garbage patch has grown not in size but in density: There are roughly 100 times more pieces per cubic meter of water than were in samples during the 1970s.

Read more at the link above, and here is a graphic that explains the currents effect on garbage. Larger graphic found here:  Image Viewer

Another big solar storm is heading our way…Monster Sunspot To Unleash Powerful Solar Flares Check out the size of this mother:

An enormous sunspot group has taken shape on the surface of the sun, hinting that our star may soon start spouting off some powerful storms.

The huge sunspot complex, known as AR 1476, rotated into Earth’s view over the weekend. It measures more than 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) across, researchers said. Scientists with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory mission, a space-based telescope watching the sun, dubbed the solar structure a “monster sunspot” in a Twitter announcement.

THE GIST

  • AR 1476 is big enough for amateur astronomers with decent equipment to spot from their backyards, weather permitting.
  • Monday evening’s eruption generated an Earth-directed CME, which should hit Earth sometime Wednesday morning (May 9).
  • Sunspots are temporary dark patches on the surface of the sun that are caused by intense magnetic activity.

The sun’s active stage should peak around 2013, in part of its 11–year cycle.

In other hot news, I should say biblical hot…burning fire hot…much like the kind of fire the priests in this next link should find themselves burning…in HELL.

Bernard Law Hid Pedophiles, Behind Push To Punish Nuns

Last month the Vatican announced it was cracking down on American nuns for not sufficiently pushing the Catholic Bishops anti-gay, anti-woman agenda. Who was behind this sudden and aggressive push-back against women many American Catholics deeply respect? The same shamed men behind the church’s sex abuse cover-up and complicity.

David Gibson reports that conservative American churchmen living in Rome, among them the disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, were key figures pushing the hostile takeover the the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR. Law and other hard-right Catholic leaders don’t like the group because of its emphasis of social justice work over loyalty to church hierarchy and issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Law was joined by a former archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke in his efforts to aggressive investigate the LCWR. Burke was named to a top Vatican judicial post in 2008 because his hard-right views made Burke a lightning rod in the U.S.– a move familiar within the Catholic Church’s leadership structure and one knowing as getting “kicked upstairs.”

However the actual investigation was conducted by Cardinal William Levada, a former archbishop of San Francisco who succeeded Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal watchdog, when Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Needless to say, these are all men very close to Ratzinger and two of them, Burke and Law, were ushered to Rome and given refuge to escape political, and in Law’s case, criminal pressure related to the sex abuse scandal in the early 2000′s.

Now we know that it is the same men who enabled, lied, and covered-up decades of criminal sexual abuse of minors pushing to punish American nuns for social justice work at the expense of Law and the Vatican’s hateful and dangerous agenda. But is anybody really surprised?

This was not a surprise to me, at all! When all the crap came down on the nuns from the Vatican, I knew something was up.

From the Religion News Service written by David Gibson, which was mentioned in the Care 2 article above:

When the Vatican last month announced a doctrinal crackdown on the leadership organization representing most of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S., the sisters said they were “stunned” by the move. Many American Catholics, meanwhile, were angry at what they saw as Rome bullying women whose lives of service have endeared them to the public.

[…]

Now it turns out that conservative American churchmen living in Rome — including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law — were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, which they have long viewed with suspicion for emphasizing social justice work over loyalty to the hierarchy and issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Vatican observers in Rome and church sources in the U.S. say Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation, as Rome correspondent Robert Mickens wrote in The Tablet, a London-based Catholic weekly. Law was the “prime instigator,” in the words of one American churchman, of the investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011. The actual crackdown was only launched in April.
Gibson continues…

Law was joined by a former archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was named to a top Vatican judicial post in 2008 – a move that was seen as a case of being “kicked upstairs” because Burke’s hard-line views made him so controversial in the U.S. Also reportedly backing the probe was Cardinal James Stafford, a former Denver archbishop who has held jobs in the Roman curia since 1996.

[…]

The fact that prelates like Burke and Law, who was given a Roman refuge in 2002 after the sexual abuse scandal exploded in Boston, played such a key role in the investigation of the American women has been like salt in the wound for those who support the nuns.

This Gibson article has been picked up in newspapers and news outlets online here in the US.  I hope that sparks some discussion on the cable news shows.

If you need a refresher on Bernard Law:

Why isn’t Boston’s Cardinal Law in jail? – Slate Magazine

But why isn’t Bernard Law in jail? (Part 2) – Slate Magazine

Disgraced US cardinal Bernard Law quits Rome post | World news | The Guardian

It is enough to make you scream isn’t it?

I really don’t want to end on such a sour note, so I am going to post a link to the Met Gala 2012 red carpet gallery. There are some beautiful gowns in this series of photos, and then there is Maude. (Well, take a look and you will see what I mean.) Met Gala 2012: Red Carpet Fashion From All The Stars! (PHOTOS)

Met Gala 2012

The Met Gala is often called fashion’s Oscars, but honestly, we think it’s bigger than that. Where else do you get every major Oscar star and fashion’s most powerful names all together on one red carpet?

[…]

…and check out Stylelist’s picks for best-dressed of the night here and worst-dressed here.

So, what are you all reading about today? Please share your thoughts with us…

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39 Comments on “Wednesday Morning Reads: Gala, Jobs, Plastic and an American Priest”

  1. Well, here are a few links from this morning.

    There is a strange story in Tenn. and Miss. have you seen this: Two arrested in case of kidnapped Tennessee mother, daughters | Reuters

    An update on the double agent bomber: Qaeda bomber adept at breaching aviation security | Reuters

    And in West Virginia:
    The Associated Press: Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes

  2. ecocatwoman says:

    WOW, JJ. What a fantastic roundup. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to explore each and every part of it later – gotta get ready for work. But for those interested in more about not just the Pacific gyre, but those in all of the planet’s oceans, go here: http://5gyres.org/ The simplest thing each of us can do is just say NO to plastic, every chance we get. I would also recommend googling Midway Islands to see the incredible amount of trash that washes ashore & the damage ingesting that plastic does to marine life – turtles, birds, etc. Treehugger recently did a series, photos & stories a year after the tsunami hit the islands.

    • Thanks Connie, I just saw this tidbit about the Pacific plastic dump:

      Pacific ‘garbage patch’ changing insect mating habits | Environment | guardian.co.uk

      Marine insects in the Pacific Ocean are changing their reproduction habitats in response to environmental changes from the accumulating amount of rubbish in the north Pacific subtropical gyre, also known as the great Pacific garbage patch, according to researchers.

      The patch has increased in size 100 times since the 1970s, including its swath of microplastic particles of less than 5mm diameter. The marine insect Halobates sericeus, a species of water skater, is now using the microplastic debris as a surface to lay its eggs, said a study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego, published on Wednesday in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    To fully appreciate the moral shallowness of Bernard Cardinal Law you need only read the “gushing comments” he wrote about those pervert priests he transferred from one parish to another as they were outed or suspected of pedophilia over a number of years. It is enough to make your stomach turn with all the “god bless this” and “god bless that” that littered his missives to the monsters of childhood destruction.

    It is beyond me how anyone can take seriously anything coming out of Rome. Mincing around with their dresses and miters these men are an overall disgrace and dripping with hypocrisy.

    Is Cardinal Law a criminal? Yes. He refused to recognize the rampant pedophilia that infected his diocese but in all fairness, what happened in Boston was symptomatic of global abuse that was fully understood in Rome and “covered up” by the powers that be. His inaction was no different than what was taking place all over the nation by other dioceses that left the Church in disgrace since it was Rome itself that chose to ignore the harm being done to children.

    Strip Law of his garments and you will discover an evildoer clinging to “religious beliefs” that are unjust and unsupported by most people.

    And they question why the pews have emptied out? No mystery there.

  4. Hope you all read this link from Cannonfire: Cannonfire: Armed rebellion, airliner bombs and double agents

    The wording of that GOP newsletter sounds like the stuff the KKK are using over here in BanjoLand.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      JJ……Thanks for the morning news rundown and the link to Joe Cannon he’s always an interesting read. And the VA GOP newsletter is just another example of the hyperbolic bs being used by the southern TP/GOP’er to stir up all those tired old stereotypes that work in Dixie. Yep, the banjo music is coming through loud and clear. The “BE AFRAID, take up arms to take it back” meme is nothing new here. I saw some Confederate Money at the Flea Market 2 weeks ago, maybeI should have bought some?

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    And congratulations to North Carolina for banning Same-Sex Marriage which wasn’t legal to begin with. Go Ahead, Dot that i twice, three times or four times if you’re that afraid. Nothing like a Constitutional Amendment to make it Officially Official, Documented, Codified, Certified, Notarized then signed, sealed delivered and enshrined forever in THE most official of all the OFFICIAL State Documents. It’s important to make sure TEH Gay can’t get out of the box, EVAH. Sort of like driving your ESCALADE SUV over a puppy, then throwing your SUV into reverse and running back over the puppy again, just to be sure, then putting your SUV back into Drive and driving over that damned puppy again and again, just to make sure he’s good’n dead,

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Mouse: It is obvious that you do not understand “god’s will” in all this.

      See, god created us all in his image. Well except for the gays. And the blacks. Oh, the Muslims too. Come to think of it, throw in the liberals too while you are at it.

      In order to “purify and honor” this will, everybody who does not measure up must be eradicated, eliminated, and marginalized.

      Once you accept this you will be much happier.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m just a heathen and a scoundrel. If only someone would lay hands on me :-) and heal me of this homosexuality. maybe then I could become a real human being.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Pretty pathetic isn’t it when listening to these nimrods?

        My son and his partner have been together going on 13 years and have as strong a relationship with each other as my other 3 hetero kids. My marriage lasted 19 years and we were as miserable as two people could be for the last 5. Half the couples I know who started out at the same time as we did ended up divorced.

        But times are changing and for today’s youth this stuff is unimportant. A plus overall.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        It is pathetic Pat. I’m glad your son has a good relationship and hope he lives in a place where he can live his life openly without fear of it being a cause of social or professional rejection. My partner and I have been together for nearly 30 years, we have experienced homophobia throughout our lives, and although society is becoming more accepting, particularly the 18-40 crowd, there’s still a very strong anti-gay attitude in too much of society, particularly in the South.

        A straight friend who lives in NC emailed me to tell me that she was voting to vote against the NC Amendment. I really appreciated that she took the time to let me know that she supports me and my partner. My partner and I don’t expect to live long enough to see gay marriage become a reality, in fact we think the Religious Right is working feverishly to reverse the tide of acceptance, but we’re fighting back because we all know it’s not who wins the battle, it’s who wins the war, and WE WILL WIN THIS..

      • RalphB says:

        My daughter and her partner have been together for 15 years and have the kind of loving relationship I would have given anything for with my ex. They have a wonderful son and are doing a magnificent job of parenting. I detest those rotten bigots who would deny basic human right to all!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Ralphb….Your daughter and Pat’s son are so fortunate that they have loving and accepting parents. Neither of you can imagine what your acceptance and your pride in them as people means to their self-esteem and their ability to have a good and stable life. Developing solid life partnerships is tough enough without your family working against it. You’d be surprised how many lesbian & gay people have little to no support from their family,

    • Seriously says:

      And this begs the question, why TF are we having our convention in North Carolina? If we had a shred of integrity, we’d pull out now and hold the damn thing in the parking lot outside Madison Square Garden if necessary.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        That’s the truth Seriously, but Obama still believes he can win NC and as long as it’s in play the DNC will do nothing to jeopardize their chance at a win there. The Democratic Convention is in Charlotte for the same reason the GOP Convention is in Tampa, Swing State

      • Seriously says:

        He barely won there last time and that was with 75% of the college vote. Now those people are unemployed with college loans, so good luck to him and the Boston Red Sox. ;) Thanks bunches for the gratuitous poke in the eye, NC!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m with you….I don’t think NC will go for Obama this time around. And the gratuitous poke in the eye goes well with the gratuitious kick in the ass, doesn’t it? :-)

  6. RalphB says:

    You know, when I think of all the suggestions from economist like Dr. Dakinikat have shouted out to anyone who would listen…why, won’t they (both Dems and Repubs) do something that will be beneficial to the economy?

    I believe the Democrats would really like to help the economy, if only to help themselves, but the Republicans don’t want anything to get better before the elections. It’s been their strategy all along and they aren’t going to give up now. IMHO.

    • NW Luna says:

      True, but enough Dems have voted with Rs on some issues. And none of what Obama, Reid, or Pelosi have introduced or supported was New Deal-type initiatives. But perhaps that will change.

  7. The Rock says:

    Awesome roundup JJ. I’ve been ghost for awhile dealing with some health issues (hurt my wrist at the gym last week, and then this weekend, I got an eye infection. UGH!!) Haven’t had a chance to really look at the posts but I’m starting to catch up.

    Jailed convicts are more popular than the president. You just don’t make stuff like that up!

    Fomer presidential candidates change citizenship.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/michele-bachmann-becomes-swiss-citizen-054706406.html

    Does that mean we can be rid of her??

    Then my favorite because of her response:

    http://news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-au-naturale-does-secretary-state-care-100046912–abc-news-politics.html

    I thinkn they should worry more about their spelling.

    Asshats.

    Time to put some drops in my eye. Kudos everyone!! :D

    Hillary 2012

    • RalphB says:

      That jailed convicts vote totals kind of shoots a giant middle finger to those, like me, who said race didn’t matter in 2008. It very clearly mattered a lot to the meth demographic.

      • The Rock says:

        How do you think the candidates will pander to te meth demo?

        Mitt – ‘I believe that government should stay out of the meth business. Let the private sector produce cleaner more potent product. College grads should take a $10,000 loan from their parents to start up their own labs…’

        Bumbles – ‘Everybody deserves a chance to succeed. Therefore I am promising to instruct Congress to pass the ‘User Fairness’ Act to protect all those who would choose to be free in America, and very high on meth. Not passing this bill would be racist according to my friend Jim Clyburn…’

        Asshats.

        Hillary 2012

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    Pat Robertson tries to Pray away the Gay, AGAIN!

    And while we’re asking for these things Lordy, could you possibly manifest me a couple of eggs over-easy, a nice slice of country ham with a biscuit and red-eye gravy and some hash-browns smothered and covered? We ask this in the name of someone or other, Amen

    • NW Luna says:

      A loving, all-wise deity who will only dole out rewards to followers who close their eyes and get on their knees and say please.

      Never did seem to make sense to me.

  9. Is Obama going to endorse marriage equality in the ABC interview tonight?!?!?!

    • http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/09/481085/obama-abc-news-marriage/

      REPORT: Obama Expected To Endorse Marriage Equality In ABC News Interview
      By Igor Volsky on May 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm
      As President Obama prepares to sit down with ABC’s Robin Roberts this afternoon just hours after voters in North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, political reporters are predicting that he may finally complete his evolution and endorse the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian people.
      “Every expectation that we will, within the next hour, be in a different world, where we will have a President of the United States who supports the legalization of gay marriage,” Mark Halperin said this afternoon during an appearance on MSNBC. “The Vice President, I think, forced his hand. But even before the Vice President spoke on Meet The Press in favor of gay marriage, the President was headed in this direction,” he added.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I’m not going to hold my breath! :-) But, he might throw caution to the wind. WTH!